Chuck Norris at Liberty University’s 2008 Commencement Ceremony

Chuck Norris received the top votes this year by Liberty University students to be the 2008 commencement speaker. As you might imagine this drew quite a stir within the university. To be honest although Chuck Norris would not have been my first pick I was for the most part pleased with his speech. His charge was simple, to the point, and an always much needed reminder basing it off of Proverbs 19:21, trust God to direct your steps. Although he misquoted Proverbs 19:21 his heart was well-intended for this graduating class. You can’t tell much about his spiritual state based off this speech alone but he does seem to be a genuine brother in Christ and I admire him for his accomplishments. Below is his actual speech. In this he talks briefly about his spiritual pilgrimage, the dissatisfaction of his rise to fame, and his accomplishments.

In light of this past weekend I decided to post Chuck Norris’ Top Ten Facts. Chuck’s a good sport!


2 thoughts on “Chuck Norris at Liberty University’s 2008 Commencement Ceremony

  1. Zach (Vitamin Z on your blogroll) asked me to post a comment. I taught and did administration at Liberty before coming to Desert Springs Church in ABQ, NM (where “Z” and I are on staff – Z, nor the church, have any ties to LU by the way).

    I was at this speech, on campus for LU’s graduation, this past Saturday. As graduation speeches go I will say it was more interesting than politicians (including one past president) that LU has had in the past. Chuck did evidence (if I can use that as a verb) a good measure of humility. He admitted this was his first graduation speech (many people would not admit that, at least celebrities), and that he was very shy and awkward in youth (and to some extent shy still to this day). Though he listed his accomplishments, it didn’t seem to be a “look how great I am” kind of deal, but more the run-of-the-mill graduation speech “dream your dream, you can be what you want to be” dooky.

    He didn’t go on too long (which as happened in past graduation speeches with politicians, and preachers, I might add), and had a few humorous parts. All-in-all I liked it better, again, than the standard Republican presidential candidate hopefuls, or key Congressmen, of the past.

    The downside: he just kicked in the verse as a kind of prooftext, and yes, didn’t really do it justice. But hey, how many preachers with a full seminary education do this, that is, give what is really their opinion and then find a verse that sounds supportive?

    What disappoints me with the whole genre of graduation speeches is that they focus on “me” (the speaker) and thus “you” (the graduate, who can be like “me”). That is, if we manuscripted the whole speech, we’d see tons of first-person pronouns, a fair amount of second-person pronouns, and handful of the generic term “God,” and very, very little of Christ or the cross or the power of His resurrected life.

  2. Thanks for the comment! I had no idea what to expect with Chuck Norris but one thing that stuck out that you mentioned was Norris’ humility more than anything. Although, I wouldn’t say humility alone would make him or anyone worthy of being a great commencement speaker I was delighted with his speech for the most part. Misquoting Prov 19:21 was indeed a downside and you are right sadly even those who have been theologically educated in a formal setting still mishandle the Word. It was nice to see Chuck break the chain of your typical politician.

    I haven’t heard too many graduation speeches but from the ones I have heard it is a disappointment when speakers tend to use God in an arbitrary vague sense with little mention of Jesus Christ and or the Gospel. I’d be interested to see who will be speaking next year. Thanks for your input!

    I actually work in the DLP office so I think I’ve emailed you a couple of times when I first started here.

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